Phasma (Star Wars)
Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi
By: Delilah S. Dawson
Narrator: January LaVoy
Penguin Random House | Imprint: Random House Audio
Genre: Fiction – Science Fiction – Space Opera
Release Date: September 01, 2017
12 Hours and 30 Minutes
I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Discover Captain Phasma’s mysterious history in this “Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi” novel.
One of the most cunning and merciless officers of the First Order, Captain Phasma commands the favor of her superiors, the respect of her peers, and the terror of her enemies. But for all her renown, Phasma remains as virtually unknown as the impassive expression on her gleaming chrome helmet. Now, an adversary is bent on unearthing her mysterious origins—and exposing a secret she guards as zealously and ruthlessly as she serves her masters.
Deep inside the Battlecruiser Absolution, a captured Resistance spy endures brutal interrogation at the hands of a crimson-armored stormtrooper—Cardinal. But the information he desires has nothing to do with the Resistance or its covert operations against the First Order.
What the mysterious stormtrooper wants is Phasma’s past—and with it whatever long-buried scandal, treachery, or private demons he can wield against the hated rival who threatens his own power and privilege in the ranks of the First Order. His prisoner has what Cardinal so desperately seeks, but she won’t surrender it easily. As she wages a painstaking war of wills with her captor, bargaining for her life in exchange for every precious revelation, the spellbinding chronicle of the inscrutable Phasma unfolds. But this knowledge may prove more than just dangerous once Cardinal possesses it—and once his adversary unleashes the full measure of her fury.
The books I have read by Deliah Dawson are always a jaunt over to the dark side of her characters’ souls. That doesn’t mean they succumb to the darkness, necessarily. Sometimes the characters who seem the darkest are not. And, sometimes, as with Phasma, they are.
On the other hand, this is not really just Phasma’s tale; there are many other characters who people the page. All are affected by her leadership and decisions like warriors following a self-serving general.
As I began listening to the story, it occurred to me that what I was hearing was the story of Scheherazade but without the seduction or any romance at all. I also thought I was hearing my furnace, or an airplane engine; or that there was something wrong with my car. But no – it was just the sound effects. Once I realized this it reminded me of an old radio program. The narrator does a decent job with the many characters. She helped me visualize the characters but not to the point where I felt she was on the stage.
I also felt Dawson very cleverly injected Phasma with hints of the politics of the day. But, I may be seeing that everywhere right now since everything feels politically charged.
I know something of the Star Wars universe – mostly the original. And, I am uncertain where this lies within the Star Wars Universe timeline. It is helpful to know some background, but I still cottoned on pretty quickly. I didn’t have to know what political factions each party was in – it is really not about that too much. Dawson paints the world so richly that it easily stands on its own. Mostly it is a story of survival, loyalty, friendship and the battle for good and evil, for authoritarian states or self-determination, the evils of ignoring the soul of the people and that of a planet.